New York Rangers(34-36-9) vs New Jersey Devils(42-28-9)
The Rangers come into this game with all of the intention to play spoilers hockey and make this Devils playoff run a little tougher than it needs to be. With Florida’s win Monday night they now sit five points behind New Jersey. The Devils come into this game though, playing some desperate hockey and winning 7 of their last ten games, on a two-game win streak and at home. The Rangers are coming into this game with no playoffs insights for the first time in 12 years and 4-4-2 in their last ten, coming off a win vs Carolina. Both teams come into this game well rested, Rangers two and a half days rest and the Devils day and a half. The Devils and Rangers always make for an interesting battle, currently, the season series belongs to New Jersey 2-1, last playing on December 21st though. It would make Rangers fans season to beat the Devils tonight this late in the season, this is going to be a gritty game between two very young, explosive teams. They play a similar style of hockey, expect one team has Taylor Hall and the other one does not. Tonight I am going New Jersey.
Philadelphia Flyers(40-25-14) vs New York Islanders(32-37-10)
The Flyers overtime win vs Boston on Easter was a big one and it helped push them a point ahead of New Jersey, both the Devils and Flyers play two opponents that hate them and no matter the records will come out flying. As we expect the Islanders to do tonight vs the Flyers, although the Islanders are well out of a playoff spot, dealing with some major questions and 2-8-0 in their last ten, they will come out to play vs Philly. The Flyers are 5-2-3 in their last ten, on a two-game win streak and playing for a playoff still. Despite them basically being in one, their position is not locked yet, so every game is a do or dies game for the Flyers. The Flyers traveling to Brooklyn will not make much of a difference as the Islanders have not been great at home. The series between these two is 2-1 in favor of the Islanders, last time they played was January 4, a Flyers, 6-4 win. Tonight it will be interesting to see who is in net for the Islanders as they have used more goalies in the last two years than some teams have in their system. Tonight I am going Flyers.
Boston Bruins(49-17-2) vs Tampa Bay Lightning(52-23-4)
This is going to be game of the night and it is about time the NHL figured it out and put a good game on NBCSN. Anyways this Bruins team has been remarkable this season, not many had them making playoffs, let alone battling for first right now. At this moment the Bruins lead the division by two points, which means a Tampa win only ties the two for first. The last time these two played was not too long ago(Mar. 29), where Boston beat Tampa in Boston though. The season series has consisted of three games already and the advantage is in Boston’s favor 3-0. It would be asthousing to see this Bruins team come out in Tampa after Tampa lost to Nashville and get swept 4-0 for the season series and basically lose the division. The Bruins head into this game being their 79th as the Lighting head in for game eighty. With both these teams battling for first and that essentially “easier” first-round opponent, this is going to make for one hell of a game. The Bruins are without, Charlie McAvoy, Rick Nash, Riley Nash, Brandon Carlo and Anders Bjork, the injuries have been a major factor for this team yet they continue to win games or lose in overtime as the Bruins are 5-1-4 in their last ten. We will see both starters go here tonight for sure and I am feeling a Tampa Bay win.
Nashville Predators(51-17-11) vs Florida Panthers(40-30-8)
It does not get easy for the Panthers, barely picking up a win Monday night over the Hurricanes and now going back to back vs one of the best teams int he league and a team that beat Tampa Bay just two days ago. The Panthers have to play this game like it is their last because it very well could be. The Devils win and the Panthers lose tonight, the Panthers are officially out. This is going to be one of the hardest games of the year for the Panthers too, a hungry Predators team, and going back to back vs them is not going to easy. The Panthers are 5-4-1 in their last ten as the Predators are 6-3-1, these two rarely meet all season and of course it has to be now for the Panthers. They’ve met one time prior to this and it came on Nashville’s home ice on Jan.20 where the Preds won a tight one. It is going to be a great game tonight, one where the Panthers play like it is the Stanley Cup, but the Predators will not go down easy, with very little games left and playoffs on the line, I’m going Panthers tonight.
Other games on tonight…
Red Wings vs Jackets: Jackets have had the easiest schedule ever it seems like. Go, Jackets,
Jets vs Canadiens: Jets
Coyotes vs Flames: Flames
Golden Knights vs Canucks: Golden Knights(wouldn’t be surprised to see Canucks win it)
Stars vs Sharks: Sharks